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Adverse Drug Effects can be Prevented by Nurses

Nurses who prescribe medications to the patient should be very careful. They need to know the patient’s medical condition and health history. Knowledge about the drug’s adverse effects before prescribing is highly essential. People who are affected by adverse drug effects will greatly contributes to poor health, may suffer from pain and discomfort, and may even lose their earnings. Hence, everyone disturbed by it are suffering in different levels in reference to the severity. The nurses involved may lose confidence with themselves and in few circumstance, they may even lose their profession as a nurse by confiscation of their license to practice.

The performance of nurses can be predicted by their work on how they prescribe medications for individual patients. All patients refer to the nurses regarding their queries on medications. The nursing profession is considered a noble one. And for this regard, people have lots of confidence and trust on nurses. Thus, nurses can make consumption of drugs safe and without any adverse drug effects.

The side-effects of drugs and some problems in medications may pose danger or harm to an individual’s safety. Whatever treatment is done, the main point to be considered is the patient’s safety. It is the most critical of all. According to a report done on preventing medication errors in 2006, it is stated that a minimum 1.5 million people are affected by this and an expenditure of about $3.5 billion is spent on these patients due to adverse drug effects.

It is calculated that the adverse drug effects increased to about 2.6 times from 1998 to 2005 and the death rate increased about 2.7 times from 1998 to 2005. The calculation is based on the study done in 2007 by archives of internal medicine. It is also stated that this increase is more in out-patients than in-patient departments. The increase is about 4 times. About 53 percent of drugs showed adverse drug effects among the 1500 drugs. Food and drug administration received about 500 reports related to adverse drug effects.

Now the patient assessment helps in preventing adverse drug effects. Whenever the patient’s health history is asked, nurses need to ask about the current medications taken and of any hypersensitivity reaction to the drugs; to determine the weight and height of the patient. Other questions which will help in knowing the adverse drug effects also should be asked. Before prescribing the medication, the person should be aware of the drug’s mechanism of action, pharmacological action, side-effects and drug interactions, as well as the patient’s medical history.

Before giving any medication, nurses should take heed of this things or questions:

> Is the medication a high alert or dangerous for the patient. It can be life-threatening to any patient in case of dangerous medications.

> Whether a drug has black-box warning. It indicates that the drug is not that safe and involves many risks.

> Whether the drug is correct for the diagnosis made. Or some other drug can be prescribed should be decided.

> Whether the patient takes any drugs or not. The dosage of any other drugs should be questioned as it helps in calculating any drug interactions.

> Is the patient a child? – This helps nurses to decide about the dosage for the child.

> Are you dealing with a pregnant patient?

These few questions or concerns are just among the important things that must be considered by nurses to counteract or avoid adverse drug effects.

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